Every AUN student is expected to take two entrepreneurship courses before graduation. Introduction to Entrepreneurship (ENT 101) is compulsory for all students in their first year.
At the College Connections segment of the August 17 orientation, Dr. Attahir Yusuf, Dean of SBE, told new students that the University goes beyond what traditional universities do.
“Traditional universities take you to the classroom, they teach you how to do a business plan, they teach you management, and everything is in the classroom. It is just like swimming by correspondence. They will be telling you what to do without really doing what you are supposed to do.”
Dr. Yusuf said that AUN trains students to be self-reliant. “…we go the extra mile. We don’t only develop you to go and work for others; we also pay patient attention to giving you the necessary implements, and the capacity at the end of the day, for you to work for yourselves. Not only to work for yourselves, but for you to create opportunities for others to get work to do.” In technical terms, it is all about capacity building.
When you leave AUN, he told the new students, you will have many new capacities, “... the capacity to identify business opportunities, the capacity to develop the plans for the exploitation of those opportunities, the capacity to establish a real business, and the capacity to manage the business and manage its growth.”
The Dean explained clearly how this is done. “We teach you how to identify business opportunities, how to develop business plans, to implement what you have identified. But for most universities, that is where they stop. But for us, we go to the next stage.”
He said students are divided into groups to work together on a business idea to create a real business. “And the next stage is we get you into groups, you have an idea, and we nurture you to develop a real business, and run the business on campus. We help you establish that business: the university gives you seed money to the sum of $5,000 to go and do that business. And at the end of the semester, we look at your books.”
Students who want to major in any of the five disciplines in the school go beyond the rudiments of business and entrepreneurship. “We don’t just give you the knowledge to establish a small business. We give you the knowledge to establish a growing and thriving business because we don’t want you to just remain a small business person.”
By Omorogbe Omorogiuwa